Dual fuel energy tariffs supply customers with both gas and electricity from the same supplier. These are often easier to manage and can sometimes work out cheaper than getting the two fuels separately.
Renewable energy tariffs have risen in popularity with heightened focus on climate change around the world. Most energy suppliers now offer at least one green tariff for customers.
Business energy tariffs are designed specifically for businesses, as opposed to individual homes. Signing up to a business tariff works slightly differently to personal energy tariffs.
Fixed price energy plans are tariffs where the price that customers pay per unit of energy they use is fixed, as opposed to variable tariffs where the price can go up or down at the supplier’s discretion.
At the most basic level, you should compare energy prices and switch energy supplier because, if you don’t, you’ll find that you end up paying much more for your gas and electricity than you need to. If you haven’t switched for a year or more, you’ll probably have been rolled on to your supplier’s standard variable rate tariff. This is generally the most expensive tariff they will offer and is subject to price changes as and when the supplier feels like making them. If you’re on a standard variable tariff, you can almost certainly compare energy, switch and save.
To get a cheap deal on energy, the majority of people sign up to a fixed deal. Unlike standard variable tariffs, fixed deals set the rate charged per unit of energy used in stone, so customers who sign up to them are not subject to unexpected price rises. Admittedly, they won’t always be the cheapest for everyone, but they’re a good place to start.
The cheapest energy suppliers vary for each customer depending on their location, needs and levels of energy usage. You may find that your best bet is one of the traditional big six energy suppliers, while others may find the best deals coming from one of the smaller names trying to make their mark in a packed industry. The best thing to do is compare energy prices from a wide range of suppliers to find the one which offers the cheapest gas and electric for you (if that’s the most important thing).
To find the best energy tariff for you, you’ll need to use an energy comparison site to get as complete a view of the market as possible. While you won’t be able to see every plan available because comparison sites might have certain exclusive deals, and some tariffs might not be valid for where you live, you should be able to get a fairly comprehensive idea of what the best options might be for you.
The most important thing for you to do when comparing gas and electricity is to make sure you enter your energy usage details as accurately as you can so the price comparison websites’ systems can match you with the best possible deals. You should be able to find your latest reading (which will be in kWh) on your most recent bill. Providing this will enable the system to accurately estimate your personal projection (the amount you can expect to pay in the next year if you stay on your current plan) and show you how much you can save by switching to one of the deals it suggests for you.
There are many types of energy tariff available to customers, including:
Renewable tariffs, or green tariffs, are plans that make use of renewable energy wherever possible in order to combat the effects of our energy use on the environment. These tariffs will typically use 100% renewable electricity from sources like wind or hydropower, in addition to offsetting at least some carbon use when it comes to gas.
Dual fuel tariffs are plans that include both gas and electricity rather than one or the other, so customers who use both can opt to receive their energy through the same supplier instead of having to sign up to two different deals.
Electricity-only tariffs are plans specifically designed for the four million homes in the UK which only use electricity to power and heat their homes.
Gas-only tariffs are aimed at those whose homes only run on gas, rather than electricity.
Fixed price tariffs tend to be some of the more popular tariffs on the market because they ensure that the price customers pay per unit of energy is fixed for the duration of their contract. This tends to be for 12 or 18 months, but customers have to be vigilant about their plan coming to an end, as they may be rolled on to a more expensive standard variable tariff.
There is rarely anything to stop you switching your gas and electricity if you rent as opposed to owning your own home. A good rule of thumb is if your name is on the energy bill, you can do what you like. If your landlord pays the energy bills or if the energy costs are included in your rent, though, you may have to get permission.
You may find that your gas and electricity supplier is the perfect one for you - if that’s the case, there’s no reason for you to switch to another supplier. The only thing worth remembering is that, if you’ve previously been on a fixed deal with that supplier, you may have been rolled onto a standard variable tariff. However, you should be able to switch to another fixed deal without any problems.
To conduct an energy comparison, you’ll need details about your current energy plan, your property and your energy usage. This will help you find the most accurate gas and electric prices - the more accurate you can be, the more accurate the potential savings you’re shown will be. If you then find a deal that you want to switch to, you’ll need to provide your personal and banking details so the new energy company can take over the supply of your gas and/or electricity.
Most energy suppliers are part of the Energy Switch Guarantee, which pledges to ensure that every switch is completed without any issues within 21 days. You can also make use of the 14-day cooling off period to cancel the switch if you change your mind.
If you don’t switch your gas and electricity, you’ll invariably be moved on to your supplier’s standard variable tariff, which could see you paying much more than you need to for your energy. It’s entirely your choice, but if you want to save money on your energy deal, it’s important to make sure that you know when your fixed deal is coming to an end (assuming you’re on one) so you can switch energy in good time without incurring any early exit fees or an increase in your energy spend.